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what would you do if.... (school question)

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by momof2here, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. momof2here

    momof2here Approved members

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    What would you do if the new Chemistry teacher (fresh out of college) is confused by concepts in the book this early in the game and is teaching the concepts incorrectly by mixing up concepts and reinforcing incorrect answers given by the students during a class activity.
     
  2. swellman

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    As a chemist I would have to have a conversation with said teacher.
     
  3. momof2here

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    Swellman... aargh.... I think you are right. I was thinking about having him take Chemistry via the internet. He wants to have a very solid background in chemistry and doesn't want to risk missing out on that. I know the teacher did not intentionally, incorrectly teach the class these concepts, so I just don't sense that this type of situation can easily correct itself.
     
  4. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    and you are an experienced chemist? Is it that the teacher is wrong or that you don't like how said teacher interacted with your student?
     
  5. swellman

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    I have to admit I'm a tad interested in what concepts you are referring to - chemistry is pretty cut and dry.
     
  6. C6H12O6

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    I think you would have to explain more about the situation. What concepts in the book is the teacher confused by and what wrong answers is he reinforcing ?


    If a student is wrong the teacher can't just dismiss the student as wrong. Part of good pedagogy is encouraging the student to work on getting the correct answer and acknowledging the parts of the answer that are on the right track.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  7. Christopher

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    I am assuming you did not see this first hand and are getting this information from your child? Since there are two sides to every story, I would approach the teacher seeking to understand rather than going in with a preset notion of what is happening and possibly putting them on the defensive.

    Sticky situation....good luck
     
  8. Mish

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    well, when my son's math teacher in grammar school started teaching math wrong (not using order of operations), I had to have a conversation with her. She claimed it wasn't important at that age (5th grade). Whatever. I just kept telling my son to do it correctly and I walked away.
     
  9. virgo39

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    Unless I witnessed it first-hand, I'd call or email the teacher and tell the teacher what my DD reported, explain that I was confused because of whatever the reason was and ask if the teacher could clarify.

    Here's why (true story):

    One day, at dinner, DD told me that at school that day, Miss Julie showed the kids a mouse:
    Me: A real mouse?
    DD: Yes, she had it in a little box (gesturing with hands as though it were a miniature in a tiny lidded box).
    Me: But it was real?
    DD: Yes, it was in a little box (again the gesture), but we had to be quiet because it was sleeping.
    Me: Which teacher is Miss Julie? Isn't she (sinking feeling) ...
    DD: She brings us lunch.
    Me: Where did she get the mouse?
    DD: It was in the pantry. ... looking for something to eat.

    I spoke to the owner of the school when I picked her up Friday. I just told her what DD had told me. There was no need for me to ask her anything, she immediately knew what I was talking about because she had other inquiries from parents.

    Miss Julie keeps a copy of a book called The Sugar Mouse Cake in the pantry. Her copy has a little toy mouse in a cage:
    The Sugar Mouse Cake
    Author: Zion, DDe, Illustrated by: Margaret Bloy Graham
    Publisher: Scribner's NY 1964
    Wonderful, whimsical color illustrations by Margaret Bloy Graham. Only Tina, a little white mouse who lived in the flour pantry, knew what a fine pastry cook Tom was, and only Tina could help Tom out of a terrible predicament.
    Apparently the kids mob her whenever the book and mouse comes out of the pantry, so she tells them that the mouse is sleeping!

    Of course, DD's teacher also mentioned that the book "went way, way back" and was "really, really old, like from the '60s."​
     
  10. cdninct

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    I agree with many of the PPs. Unless I knew the whole story, I would not run in to question the teacher's ability. Your son might have misunderstood the teacher, he/she might be deviating from the textbook in an attempt to save students from falling into certain traps that he/she foresees coming up down the line, or he/she might have had a moment of uncertainty--which happens to even the best, most experienced teacher. High school students can also be quite hard on new teachers, choosing to believe that they (the kids) know better and purposely misinterpreting what they are taught (not saying your son would do that, but when that attitude runs rampant in a classroom, it is hard for any student to remain detached from the "game").

    If you do choose to contact the teacher, try asking questions first rather than leading with statements. It might save all three of you some embarrassment!
     
  11. MamaC

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    It's early in the year; mistakes will be made on both sides of the desk.

    Don't assume anything based on the teacher's level of experience. The teacher is in charge in his/her classroom.

    Similarly, don't accept as Gospel student-reported activity.

    Not sure how you are determining that mistakes are being made, but the teacher deserves a chance to respond to a respectful and considered first-hand inquiry.

    I would also caution that an online course may not be the solution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  12. Lee

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    This...and my oldest has taken a few online courses to supplement what her hs doesn't offer. They are hard. Not really knowledge hard, but busy work hard, not being able to communicate with the instructor, instructor loosing work, just really overwhelming.

    Is he in honors or AP Chem? Or just basic Chem? Maybe you can try to get him booted up to another level of chem or a different teacher, or let the first couple of lessons go.
     
  13. Joretta

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    Ask the teacher. If you talk nice and share your concern. A good teacher will share what happened. If he really did mess up he needs to know. If he responds rudely or condescending and insists he is right and you are sure he is not. Go to administration and tell them you want this fixed because this course is important to your child's education. Be polite, concerned and interested, but be prepared to be firm determined and proactive. If more parents were schools would be so much better. For it takes a balance of parents, kids and teachers for people to succeed.
     

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